And You Thought Gas Prices Were Out of Control

As you can probably tell by now, I loves me some Mavs. I'm a teenager who attended their first game at Reunion Arena back in 1980, an adult who made a decent living chronicling their every move in the newspaper and a parent whose son named the family dog "Maverick." MFFL, as it were. But I'll be damned if I'm going to spend $17,468 for a really good seat to Thursday's Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. Don't laugh, some folks are.

In scalping and price gouging that makes the Super Bowl look like tiddly winks, ticket prices to games at the American Airlines Center are higher than Ricky Williams. On StubHub, for example, a second-row seat just behind the Miami Heat bench--close enough to smell the sweet aroma of Shaq's sweat--is going for the $17,648. Hurry now, only two at this price! But, wait, there's more. If 17k is a little out of your income bracket, you can sit in Section 113--lower bowl, great seat--for a mere $7,900. If you're a cheap bastard--or actually from this planet--settle for sitting in the Section 300 nosebleeds for $236 a pop.

And, of course, there's parking. I swear this is true: For a parking spot--that's cement and two painted white lines--it's $135 in the platinum garage across the street from the arena. Went down to practice yesterday, and the $20 lots within shouting distance of Hooter's have mysteriously morphed into $40 lots. But I'm a MFFL, you say. I've been waiting all my life for this, you say. Watching the Mavs in the Finals is priceless, you say. Fine, then why don't you splurge for a seat in a lower-level luxury suite? Price: $44,119. The scary part is, this is only Game 1. Fathom a Game 7. Thank God some of us have press passes. See you there! --Richie Whitt

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